RBIDZ MEDIA STATEMENT_17.03.2022

 

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE RICHARDS BAY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ZONE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 17 MARCH 2022

 

RBIDZ RESPONDS TO RECENT PROTEST AND ALLEGATIONS BY THE RICHARDS BAY ARTISANS ORGANISATION

The Richards Bay IDZ has noted the allegations made by the group of job seekers referred to as Richards Bay Artisans Organisation recently following a protest at the company gates. Given the commitment of the RBIDZ to deliver prudently on its mandate, we view these allegations in a very serious light and would act accordingly as an institution charged with the responsibility of executing our responsibilities and that strives to do so with integrity, proper and sound governance at all levels.

The RBIDZ is mandated to promote and attract both domestic and foreign direct investments with the intention of boosting the economy of the country and in turn create employment opportunities as well as develop skills and transfer.

To date the RBIDZ has managed to retain operational investors amidst the destructions caused by the global pandemic whereby most companies were shedding employment because of the economic decline. Moreover, we have investment projects that are under construction that have started to create job opportunities, and that will continue to create opportunities as they progress on the ground and beyond construction.

Employment Opportunities Created by the Wilmar Project still under construction at RBIDZ Phase 1A estate

The Wilmar Processing SA Investment Project commenced construction in October 2020 and construction is still underway. The project is expected to create a total of 1000 jobs during construction and 202 once it is operational.

Construction is expected to be complete in 2023. To date the project has created over 450 construction related job opportunities and currently there are 378 workers on site amongst them being 316 for unskilled labour and 62 for skilled and semi-skilled labour. Amongst the over 450 number of construction related jobs that have been created over 300 have been sourced locally.

As the RBIDZ we are prioritising local content and labour and as such a process of giving preference to the locals is one that we are committed to.

We must highlight that the project will be rolled out in different phases thus requiring a particular number of labour at different intervals leading to completion.

Recruitment Process

Process Unskilled and Semi- skilled Labour Sourcing

The RBIDZ has a partnership with the Zululand Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZCCI) that is managing the Labour Desk that has a data base of CVs for different labour skills. The Labour Desk captures and stores CVs for job seekers. The relationship that has been developed with the ZCCI intends to be a collective effort of creating a transparent and accessible platform where job seekers can be able to submit their CVs for capturing, this allowing them to be on a data base for job seekers. Thus far this process has proved to be practical and able to respond with speed whenever labour requirements arise.

 

At a particular time when labour opportunities arise from the construction site, the contractor will communicate the need and requirements at an interval. The CVs will then be sourced from the Labour Desk in line with the required skill, whereafter a selection process or a means test will be conducted by the Contractor to determine qualifying resource. At no point will the Contractor source labour for skills that can be attained locally as this aligns with the RBIDZ mandate of creating employment opportunities with the intention of uplifting local people, alleviate unemployment and social challenges faced by the region and the country.

The RBIDZ has taken it upon itself to work with the Investors and contractors in ensuring that it serves as a vehicle that will contribute positively towards socio-economic development and we are adamant that we are working towards that fairly.

Process for Skilled Labour Sourcing

If the contractor seeks to employ skilled labour, an advertisement will be published in different platforms and some of those is the utilisation of the local print media as well as social media platforms.

If there are at all allegations the company will institute a process to determine the veracity of those allegations with a view to take appropriate steps. However, such process requires that those in possession of relevant information provide it.

Integrity of the Richards Bay IDZ

The RBIDZ has opened platforms of communication and engagement with the different stakeholders and significantly the forums such as the Richards Bay Artisans Organisation and others with an attempt to listen to the demands as well as clarify the position of the company as a public entity in terms of its mandate, investment projects on the ground, employment opportunities available as well as processes undertaken. As the RBIDZ we understand that the demand for job opportunities continue to rise so are the expectations of our communities towards the company.

We are fully aware that the number of job opportunities will never satisfy the demand and in this regard, we commit to continue with our efforts of attracting both domestic and foreign direct investments to the Zone and to remain the catalyst for job creation and entrepreneurship development.

As the public entity, we are governed by the strict laws, policies, and regulations of the land to serve our society justly and transparently.

We are bound to act according to the prescribed code of ethics, and we respect our responsibilities and accountabilities so as our stakeholders in different categories.

Interventions to create transparent recruitment processes and conducive working relationship with stakeholders

As the RBIDZ we have embarked on sourcing an independent recruiting company that will be responsible for the labour desk and facilitation of labour needs by the different contractors undertaking construction in our estates. The recruiting company is currently finalising its processes that will in turn be communicated to all stakeholders. The appointment of the recruiting company means that the Labour Desk will be managed independently to ensure transparency and that it meets the objectives of the company to serve the society, as well as meeting the expectations of the society around the issue of job creation prioritising locals and ensuring that labour process is fair to all.

Moreover, frequent stakeholder engagements will be prioritised to deter miscommunication and misunderstanding between the RBIDZ and its stakeholders importantly communities. The labour desk processes and projects underway will also form part of the scope of engagements.

Various platforms of communication will be utilised as means of sharing communication and raising awareness on the mandate of the RBIDZ as well as progress made from time to time to close the vacuum of miscommunication.

 

We are also working closely with the Municipality through the Multi-stakeholder forum that was developed in 2021 with the intention of standardising structures of engagement between industry and local communities as well as integrate platforms for engagement that would act as a conduit through which stakeholders can discuss matters of concern such as those relating to business opportunities, labour and recruitment, skills development, and others. Through this Multi- stakeholder forum various stakeholders have been engaged with the aim of solidifying its processes as well as bringing all stakeholder representatives on board with the aim of ensuring that issues are resolved amicably and addressed in a manner that will bring harmony and stability in the area.

In conclusion

We are fully aware that the number of job opportunities will never satisfy the demand due to the high unemployment rate in the country, however we commit to continue with our efforts aimed at attracting both domestic and foreign direct investments to the Zone and to remain the catalyst for job creation and entrepreneurship development this done in partnership and support from all stakeholders involved.

We remain aware that the world over companies have been shedding jobs and KwaZulu Natal has also been affected but the investment projects that commenced construction after strict lockdown have been able to usher in a new era and create relief in terms of job creation in the area; and they continue to promise a better future for our region should they be given an opportunity to stabilise themselves on the ground.

To ensure that we remain a haven for both domestic and foreign direct investments, it is important that peace and stability is prioritised as safety net in the area. It is a well-known factor that investors tend to prioritise social stability when choosing investment destinations and if we are unable to provide that as a collective then we would see ourselves losing what we are attempting to build as the company and government.

As the public entity we are open to public scrutiny and as such any allegations presented to us are taken seriously and if investigations are to be undertaken, the RBIDZ will act accordingly without fear or favour should such allegations be substantiated.

To this end the RBIDZ can confirm that the recruitment process to source labour for the construction project underway are on-going through the Labour Desk residing within the Zululand Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZCCI) until such time that the independent recruiting company commences operation and take over the functions of the Labour Desk. Communication will be made to all stakeholders in this regard.

The RBIDZ is committed to act on any forms of impropriety at all levels within its operation by taking preventive action against corruption and ensuring a clean system aimed at articulating its mandate.

This could include interventions of independent processes of probity, if necessary. Ends

ISSUED BY THE RICHARDS BAY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ZONE

 

Enquiries: Choice Sihiya Mobile – 084 2075823 / Email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About RBIDZ

The RBIDZ is an organisation made up of real people, with a real dedication, and passion to effect real change in South Africa. This commitment and energy is apparent in all dealings with not only each other but with potential investors too.

© 2022, RBIDZ. Powered By TTECH

Subscribe to our Newsletter

RBIDZ OFFICE COMPLEX
4 Harbour Arterial, ALTON,
Richards Bay, 3900

Phone: +27 35 797 2600
E-Mail: info@rbidz.co.za

Search